Vol. 1 No. 7 (2021)
Health Technology Reviews

Community Pharmacist–Led Medication Reviews

Published July 27, 2021

Key Messages

  • Community pharmacist–led medication reviews are widely used in Canada and internationally.
  • It has been shown that community pharmacist–led medication reviews can identify medication issues. Broadly speaking, pharmacists feel qualified to deliver this service and, from the few studies that measured patient satisfaction, patients find value in receiving a medication review in a community pharmacy.
  • In terms of patient and health system outcomes, community pharmacist–led medication reviews seem to have limited impact. Individuals living with defined chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, or those living with multiple chronic conditions seem most likely to benefit.
  • No studies of cost-effectiveness in the Canadian context were identified.
  • A variety of barriers that impact pharmacist-led medication reviews were identified in the literature, including:
    • limited communication between community pharmacists and prescribers resulting in pharmacists’ recommendations not being implemented
    • a lack of time on the part of pharmacists
    • challenges with patient selection.
  • Policy interventions that may help alleviate these barriers include:
    • incentivizing communication and collaboration between pharmacists and prescribers
    • reducing administrative burden
    • improving access to patient information
    • enhancing patient selection by incentivizing service provision for the most medically complex patients.